Graham Alexander insists he’ll be forever grateful to Steve Cotterill for giving him a second lease of life in football – but all that will be forgotten when the former Burnley boss brings his Bristol City side to Highbury on Saturday
Cotterill signed Alexander for The Clarets in 2007.
It was a bold decision to take a gamble on a 36-year-old right back – one which paid off for the club and for Alexander, promoted to the Premier League two seasons later, but not for the manager.
“There weren’t many manager’s who signed me as a player but Steve is one of them,” joked the Fleetwood boss, who played for just four clubs in a near 20-year career.
“He showed a lot of faith in me, when I was 36, took me to Burnley.
“A lot of questions were asked of his decision to do that. I think I repaid the faith in his original choice.
“He wasn’t there, unfortunately, to be part of that.“We have had varying results but I don’t think our performances over the League games have dropped below a certain standard.
“That’s great and we’re going to need it every week, Saturday more than ever.
“They are riding high, they’ve had a great start to the season. But I don’t think anybody is unbeatable. That’s how we have to think.
“If we get a performance like we have had over the last couple of games then I think it’s only a matter of time before we get the points we deserve.”
Indeed, the Fleetwood manager isn’t even thinking about where tomorrow’s opponents sit in the table, his focus is on three points and ending a run of five without a victory.
He said: “I’m not fussed about Bristol City’s position, what they are interested in.
“It’s three points on the table for us. We’ve got to work hard to get them.
“If we get the win on Saturday it won’t mean anything more to me that they are top of the league.
“I think the boys know we’ve got what it takes to compete at this level.
“I don’t think whatever result we get on Saturday will give us any extra confidence.
“It won’t help us believe any more because I think all the lads know what they are capable of.
“We’re just not getting the points our general play has deserved. But that’s down to us. We can’t look at any unfortunate incidences.
“We have to grasp it and take the chances when they come our way.”
Fleetwood have scored just one goal in the last five matches.
The inability to score has not been for want of trying, Alexander’s men being unable to convert a bucket full of chances against Crawley and Barnsley.
The Fleetwood boss insists he’s keeping the faith in his forward line and has, for now, ruled out any moves into the loan market.
“We feel we’ve got three very good strikers in the first team squad,” he told The Gazette.
“We’ve got a couple of young ones coming through and we’ve got great attacking options from midfield.
“We feel we’ve got enough to score goals to win games.
“Football’s never perfect, your team is never working perfectly.
“There’s always elements you need to improve.
“At least we know where that has to happen.”